DavNOr town ramps up tourism projects to cushion pandemic impact
STO. TOMAS town in Davao del Norte is ramping up tourism projects in Sitio Talos, Barangay San Jose with its tourism program "DiscoverTalos, ExploreMegatong" campaign as a way of taking advantage of the expected tourism downturn as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a statement Sunday, Mayor Ernesto Evangelista said Sitio Talos may attract more local tourists in the coming months after the completion of the ongoing project in the area.
“Other factors seen to boost Sitio Talos’ agriculture and eco-tourism tourism industry include an upland farm and improvement of its environs and its emergence as an Ata-Manobo cultural destination. Sitio Talos serves a jump-off point to Mt. Megatong. Hence, there is a need to expedite the projects here to provide better economic opportunities to the Indigenous People’s (IPs) community,” he said.
Aside from the ongoing project, Evangelista wanted the IP settlers in the area to be given special attention under his administration to alleviate their economic condition.
“I will see to it that under my term, the Ata-Manobo settlers in Sitio Talos will be provided with just and culturally-sensitive economic activities in their area. We want to have a long-term livelihood opportunity for them while tourism thrives in their community,” Evangelista assured.
The municipality of Sto. Tomas is grooming Sitio Talos in Barangay San Jose and Sitio Mangga in Barangay Magwawa through the auspices of the Municipal Information Office (MIO) as the town’s agri and eco-cultural destinations.
Evangelista said he will be requesting the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-Davao and the Department of Social and Welfare Development in Davao Region (DSWD-11) for the inventory and status of the various projects poured in Sitio Talos for assessment and planning purpose.
"There's an initial inquiry speech done with the NCIP as we are also eyeing the Sitio Talos as beneficiaries of projects that would align to the framework of EO 70 of President Duterte," he added. (By Prexx Marnie Kate Trozo)